John McEnroe labeled Aryna Sabalenka as “a major talent” and added he believes the Belarusian winning a Grand Slam is a great thing for the women’s game. Sabalenka, 24, earned her first Grand Slam title by beating Elena Rybakina in the Australian Open final.
Last year, Sabalenka had a challenging season full of ups and downs. But at the start of the 2023 season, Sabalenka is 11-0 and has climbed to No 2 in the world. “I’m really happy for Sabalenka. In her game, she had the yips on her serve.
On the first point of the match, she double faults, and Rybakina played great and served huge. This is the great thing for women’s tennis, seeing that type of emotion and seeing the perseverance that she’s been able to work her way out of and keep going.
She’s a major talent and has been through a rollercoaster, and it’s great that she’s been able to emotionally rebound. You hear about [Naomi] Osaka in the last couple of years, and now you hear about Swiatek struggling emotionally.
It’s nice to see someone who’s had a lot of difficulties coming out the other end doing something as big as Sabalenka did,” McEnroe told Eurosport.
After winning Adelaide in her first tournament of the year, Sabalenka went on to win her first Grand Slam title.
In the past, Sabalenka did enjoy a few strong Grand Slam runs – three times she would make the semifinal and then lose. After the 2022 season ended, Sabalenka took some time to reflect on what she needed to change. Throughout January, Sabalenka was speaking about now being a much calmer and composed player on the court.
Also, Sabalenka jokingly described herself as “boring” several times during her time in Australia. The change in approach and attitude has been doing wonders for Sabalenka at the start of the 2023 season and she will certainly be hoping to do more great things in the rest of the year.
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